What is your name and role within Okay Dane?
Jake (vocals/guitars) and Liam (Bass)
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
J: We’re based in Melbourne, we’re spoiled for choice here as far as good bands go.
L: It’s easier to build a following once you find your niche, there’s a lot of variety in Melbourne.
How did Okay Dane form?
J: Liam and I have been writing music together since graduating high school in 2013, and Okay Dane is the end result of trying different sounds and finding what we like over the last few years.
L: There’s between a few iterations under multiple terrible-names and genre jumps, earlier we were really into Living End and jazzy chord progressions, Okay Dane is us once we’d found our sound and identity.
How did you first start playing music?
J: I got my first guitar when I was 5 (almost 20 years ago!) and have been obsessed ever since, I think the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games are responsible for my love of punk and alternative rock..
L: I picked up the bass in year 12 to compete in battle of the bands with Jake. We won. There were also some years spent playing clarinet that we prefer not to talk about.
What’s been happening recently?
J: We had a productive year in 2019 going on 2 tours, releasing 2 music videos, three singles, and this latest EP. Winding down for December now to write some new tunes to take out on the road in 2020!
You’ve just released your new EP ‘Alienation’ what influenced the sound and songwriting for the EP?
J: Personally I was listening to heaps of PUP and Clowns before heading in to record this time around. We’ve also spent the last year or so also listing to heaps of Aussie bands like Smith Street Band, Violent Soho, Ball Park Music, and Courtney Barnett, and that’s definitely had a huge impact on our sound.
L: Smashing heaps of IDLES and getting really into their minimalistic but huge sound, and trying to keep the music cheeky and fun while still being serious and genuine.
How did you go about writing the music for Alienation?
L: We’d bring in ideas and skeletons of songs and work on the arrangements as a full band, with our different musical backgrounds it meant we’d hear things in each other’s ideas.
Where and when did you record and produce and who with?
J: We recorded this EP in June of 2019, and we’ve done everything since Pretend with Jon Grace at Homesurgery Recordings. We’ve been able to get great results working with Jon as we have a lot of mutual trust and Jon truly becomes a member of the band while we’re there. I remember getting a message in the early hours of the morning of Jon singing a melody idea into his phone; he doesn’t switch off the whole time and lives in the record he’s producing.
How did you approach the recording and mixing?
L: We went in with a bunch of demos and an open mind, we all picked our top 5 and trusted Jon on what he thought the best songs were. From there we worked out all the kinks in pre-production and the songs began to take shape. With mixing we gave Jon a lot of room to do his thing, we gave him some reference tracks for how we wanted the EP to sound, but the vision for the end product was one we developed together so mostly we’d just give little mix notes here and there.
Who did you work with and how was the experience?
J: Jon Grace mixed, engineered and produced, Sam Sproull mastered, and Will Johnstone did the artwork for the EP, and its corresponding singles. Will definitely continue working with this team.
What did you find most challenging and rewarding during the creation of the EP?
J: Finalising lyrics was the biggest challenge, on songs like ‘Stupid Game’ and ‘Headache’ a lot of the material was similar to what we came in with, but on tracks like ‘God Complex’, ‘You’re Sick’ and ‘Weak’ we needed to rewrite several sections, it was really rewarding as it was an opportunity to get everyone involved in lyric writing and getting different perspectives on the subject matter.
You’ve just released your single ‘Headache’ please tell us how this track came to be and what it means to you:
L: I came in with the bass-line after smashing heaps of Bakers Eddy and wanting something fast to open the set with, the structure stayed pretty similar and it came together really fast.
J: Lyrically this was the most fun song to write and I was able to vent about all of the shit that was frustrating me at the time. It became a really positive outlet for all anger and it was heaps of fun to track.
Why did you choose Headache to be your lead single?
J: We led first with God Complex which was more in-line with what people have come to expect from us, very 90’s alt/slacker vibes on that song and we also toured in support of that single. The decision to release Headache second with a video was to surprise our audience with our new found punk-sound and keep them guessing!
You’ve have an accompanying film clip for Headache, how did the concept for the film clip come about?
L: We had the idea ages ago of wanting to smash up a set with one of our more punk songs, and setting it on a children’s TV show was a great contrast to the more aggressive music and lyrics. We took the idea to Nathan Klooger and he ran with it and came up with some killer material. He took the basic idea and developed a story and all of the surrounding set-pieces.
Where did you film and who did you work with?
We filmed with Nathan Klooger at the Meat-Market Stables in North Melbourne.
What did you most enjoy and also learn throughout the creation of the film clip?
J: Punk and smashing things pair well.
L: You only get one take when you’re smashing things so you better make it count.
What’s planned for the 2020?
J: We’re going back into writing mode to come up with some new tunes to take on tour and into the studio, we had a busy 2019 but we’re going to up the ante in 2020!
L: We’re going to steal the declaration of independence.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
J: Always down for a kebab, favourite place to hang is at band practice or in the tour van
L: Indian food, love a good curry. Fave place to hang is a pirate-punk themed bar (Jolly Roger, Fortitude Valley) we found on tour in Brisbane, that’s where I want to be buried.